BMP Teaching Artists in Action | Thomas Cooper
At the Boston Music Project, we are proud to have an exceptional team with a diverse background of teaching and performance experiences. When our Teaching Artists are not teaching music lessons, they are pursuing their own professional careers as active performers, composers, music producers, dancers, and the list goes on.
We would like to spotlight a member of the BMP Teaching Artist family, Thomas Cooper.
Thomas has been with us since October. He received his B.M. from Oberlin Conservatory and his M.M. from New England Conservatory. He has appeared as soloist with several American orchestras, including the Credo Baroque Orchestra, the Dubois Orchestra of Harvard, and the Oberlin Student Chamber Orchestra, among others. As a chamber musician, Thomas has performed alongside the Oberlin Trio and the Jupiter String Quartet.
As a competitor, he received top prizes at the Naftzger Young Artist Competition, and the Ohio Music Society Competition. In 2018, he advanced to the semi-finals of the Washington International Violin Competition, and recently took first prize at the 2019 Cremona International Festival String Competition. A committed teacher, he has worked extensively with students of the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra, as well as several public schools in Northeastern Ohio. In his spare time, Thomas flies as a licensed pilot, checked out in a Cessna 172.
Choosing to pursue music came natural to Thomas, who grew up in a family of musicians. His mother was a piano teacher, his grandmother was a soprano, and many of his aunts and uncles sang as well. When asked why he chose his instrument, Thomas said,
“My older sister picked the cello, and it seemed like the obvious choice for me to choose the violin.”
Thomas is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Fermata, a non-profit organization founded in late 2017 that is trying to change the polarizing culture of classical music by reinventing the live concert. It hosts free or low-cost community-oriented events that strive to foster new appreciation for classical music. Thomas is recording four of the violin concerti of Joseph Bologne Chevalier de Saint-Georges with the group in an upcoming project. Bologne was a black violin virtuoso and composer active in the classical era, and the preeminent violin soloist of his time. Since Bologne's works are underrepresented when compared with his contemporaries, Thomas is excited about bringing these pieces to new audiences as part of Fermata's commitment to showcasing black virtuosity.
To learn more about Thomas, we invite you to read his full biography on our Teaching Artists page.